Ed Markey: ‘Let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day’ by adopting Irish sick leave policy

Greg Nash

Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Wednesday urged the adoption of a sick leave policy similar to Ireland’s amid the spread of coronavirus, invoking numerous St. Patrick’s Day parades and events that have been canceled due to the outbreak.

“In lieu of parades, let’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by emulating our Irish friends’ national paid sick leave policy,” Markey, an Irish American, tweeted Wednesday, linking to a NowThisNews clip describing Ireland’s adoption of universal sick leave amid what the World Health Organization (WHO) has dubbed a pandemic.

Several St. Patrick’s Day parades have been cancelled amid public health experts’ advice to avoid large crowds, including those in Boston, Chicago, Dublin and Cork. Massachusetts has 95 cases of the virus as of Wednesday evening.

Markey’s tweet came the same day Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) blocked unanimous consent for a bill sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) that would have required employers to offer 14 days of paid sick leave during public health emergencies.

“The idea of paid sick leave is a good idea. But if Washington, D.C., thinks it’s a good idea, Washington, D.C., should pay for it,” Alexander, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, said from the Senate floor Wednesday.  

Tags Coronavirus Ed Markey Ed Markey Lamar Alexander Patty Murray Saint Patrick's Day Sick leave st. patrick's day
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